The precautionary principle, which many trace back to German regulations promulgated in the early 1970s, has developed into an important environmental management tool. Its inclusion in numerous international treaties and agreements over the past seventeen years confirms its significance. Beyond international treaties, many foreign governments have explored the application of the precautionary principle to their own decisionmaking procedures. For instance, the precautionary principle has been the central focus of judicial decisions in Australia, Canada, and India. Despite this growing global acceptance and implementation of the precautionary principle, the United States has remained adamantly opposed to its introduction into domestic policy. This Note focuses on international application or non-application of the precautionary principle in order to better understand the United States’ current opposition. Ultimately, this comparative analysis should clarify, which, if any, governmental avenue will prove most effective in laying the foundation for implementation of the precautionary principle in this country.
Surveying the Precautionary Principle's Ongoing Global Development: The Evolution of an Emergent Environmental Management Tool,
B.C. Envtl. Aff. L. Rev.